New Psychedelic Styles for “MGMT”

MGMT has had one psychedelic ride through fame, success and the music industry these past few years. Rising to the public eye in 2007 with their album “Oracular Spectacular,” this progressive rock band has come a long way from their humble beginnings in Middleton, Conn. However, the pressures over time have caused a conflict in the artists’ priorities. Should they uphold their fan base or broaden their unique artistry and progress their sound?

Courtesy of Columbia Records

Courtesy of Columbia Records

Fortunately, MGMT took their stand behind their creative juices and didn’t look back for fans. The new namesake album “MGMT” leaves no space for radio fans of “Kids” and “Electric Feel.” MGMT takes a daring dive into the psychedelic ocean, drowning deep in synth sounds and swimming among elusive lyrics.

When I took a dip into MGMT’s newfound pool of creativity, I found myself floating on a lazy current with the songs “Alien Days” and “Introspection,” a sleepy cover to a little known song. These songs set the tone for the album and clearly expose MGMT’s overwhelming passion for the indie rock genre.

As the songs played, I could hear something powerful just bubbling at the surface during the song “Mystery Disease,” a 3-4 minute long journey through different instrumentals with no common thread to each other or the lyrics.

No lines are drawn between MGMT’s founders, Andrew Vanwyngarden and Benjamin Goldwasser, thus they have no boundaries they cannot cross. They delicately balance eastern scales in “Cool Song No. 2,” and then construct a soft, profound poem in “I Love You Too, Death.” As the title suggests, the song holds a suicidal theme, but the lyrics and sound hold a tasteful, fantasy-like twist.

Toward the end of my uncharted ride, the power I felt bubbling for some time broke the surface with the final two songs, which ended the album on a passionate yet mind-boggling conclusion. The upbeat, almost pop sounds in “Plenty of Girls in the Sea,” implodes the album from almost nowhere and is followed by a sudden end to the neo rocking ride with the song “An Orphan of Fortune.” A glance back to MGMT’s struggle with fame, “Orphan” fittingly describes MGMT now. With no forced, smothering, parental-like direction, the MGMT duo now follows their own agenda and creates the music they desire, regardless of critics and disappointed fans.

MGMT is in no mood to wait for the waters of culture to warm up to their radical sound. If you are ready to jump into chillier waters with them and experience the shock of their neo-rock music, then by all means don’t bring your floaties. However if you are not willing to accept their new musical directions, you may want to stay on the warm shore basking in their first album’s rays of success.


ONLY RECOMMENDED IF: You already accept MGMT’s evolving musical style.